Aaron Doster/Associated Press
When asked after the game whether he believed he had done enough to earn the National League‘s Cy Young award, he replied, “I don’t know how you could see it any other way,” per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Bauer is 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 73.0 innings.
Bauer has the best ERA among all starters on that list and the second-best ERA overall behind only Chicago Cubs closer Jeremy Jeffress. He’s also No. 1 in both strikeouts and shutouts.
However, his 5-4 record is unsightly compared to others. Fried is 7-0, and Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is 6-2.
Voters could also use team record against Bauer. He’s on a mediocre 29-28 Reds team fighting for a playoff berth, while Fried, Darvish and Kershaw are playing on division leaders (or clinched winners, in Kershaw’s case).
However, judging pitchers by wins and losses is a largely archaic method these days. Statistics such as XFIP, strikeout rate and SIERA have proved far more valuable.
The Cy Young is also given to the best pitcher in each league and not the most valuable, which brings with it an edge and bias toward players on better teams. In other words, the Reds’ up-and-down season shouldn’t be held against Bauer.
Bauer has been lights-out this year and has clear advantages over other pitchers in the field. While he may not be a shoo-in for the award, he can clearly make a case for being the NL’s top starter.